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December 3, 2009 News 10 Comments

From Not Yet: “Re: contract gag clauses. Showcase Cerner site Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust rejects FOI requests.” The hospital declines to provide information to a journalist, claiming that “our contract with Cerner includes a confidentiality clause and as such disclosure of the information could give rise to an actionable breach of confidence.” Cerner wouldn’t sue if the hospital wanted to gush superlatives, so I’d guess that’s not what the records show.

From HITGradStudent: “Re: Health IT Facts. Is it any surprise that someone has hopped on the Chuck Norris bandwagon with HIT? Both a blog and a Twitter feed. Could use some HIStalk-style snark, though.” I’ll give it credit for being terse. The most recent post is pretty funny: “There is no we in Health IT. There is an I.”

National eHealth Collaborative (aka “AHIC Successor”, which advises HHS) is accepting nominations for its four board vacancies.

HHS will issue $235 million worth of HIT grants in early 2010 through the Beacon Community Program, which David Blumenthal calls a “proving ground for meaningful use of EHRs and health information exchange.” It seems like the decision has already been made to dump billions of taxpayer dollars at the feet of EMR vendors regardless of past history, so it’s a bit late to figure out how to make them work by plowing more money into areas with high EMR use. That’s just my opinion as one of a tiny minority of taxpayers who don’t believe that wild government overspending is the right way to encourage a “healthy” economy (since we’ve been doing that for years and it failed). Do you get the feeling that HHS and the rest of the ‘crats just can’t shovel the money out the door fast enough to keep the economic bear dancing? Anyway, you can leave a comment on DB’s blog if you like.


William Young, formerly CIO at Ellis Hospital (NY), is named CIO at Berkshire Health Systems (MA).


Patient Privacy Rights publishes its PHR Report Card. It’s not obvious, but if you click the vendor name on that page, there’s a lot of detail behind each. No More Clipboard gets an A, while everybody else sucks.

HIStalk readership always slows down in November and December since people are off for the holidays, but this past month was good: 70,680 visits and 93,300 page views, up 28.5% compared to last November.

A reader said to check this page for Siemens jobs since they aren’t listed on the Siemens site. He got a response from a Siemens recruiter from applying there.

Ireland stops its test of cell phone-blocking technology to prevent the smuggling of contraband into its prisons. The technology worked too well, knocking out cell phones at the hospital across the street.


Please join me in welcoming BridgeHead Software to HIStalk as a new Platinum Sponsor. Their tagline is “Enabling the EHR” and they offer enterprise data backup solutions used by over 450 customers. It provides a fully indexed, searchable information store (pretty darned cool that you can do business intelligence on a backup). They also offer a vendor-neutral PACS archiving solution, which could be crucial if all the folks in that recent survey really will be replacing their PACS and will need to migrate images. If you’re a Meditech user, their BH FileStore for scanning and archiving might catch your eye. White papers are here. Many thanks to BridgeHead Software for supporting HIStalk.

CHIME and AHA give their Transformational Leadership Award to BayCare Health System (FL) and CIO Lindsey Jarrell for their Cerner implementation.


A nice sale for Medsphere: 222-bed Kern Medical Center (CA) will implement OpenVista.

Carolinas HealthCare System chooses Omnicell’s automated dispensing cabinets.


Someone must be reading HIStalk for the Kindle. I got paid $12.30 for five months’ of subscription sales. I’m pretty sure the groupies will be along any day now.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NC) CIO Avery Cloud gets a nice picture in a local newspaper’s article about the group exercise program of the hospital’s senior management team.

Strong Hospital (NY) announces its EMR project, with HITECH covering $8 million of its $49 million cost. You will never guess what they bought — Epic! (irony intended — sometimes it seems a though Epic is getting every sale in hospitals of over 400 beds).


Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (United Arab Emirates) is starting the second phase of its Cerner implementation. ADT, HIM, pharmacy, and radiology are live, with CPOE, clindoc, lab, surgery, and ED coming up next.

What a brilliant video by Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (OR) — the Pink Glove Dance for Breast Cancer Awareness. Nurses, techs, doctors — everybody got in there and did a phenomenal job. Did I say it’s brilliant? I’m a crass cynic, but I admit I misted up a little. Everything I love about working in hospitals is right there. It’s not just me — it has nearly 3 million YouTube views and nearly 5,000 comments. A portion of the sales of the Medline gloves that are pictured will go toward providing mammograms for uninsured women. Thanks to Ann Farrell for sending the link.

Sounds like a pretty good job: Allscripts is looking for a Director, Education Development and Technology in Raleigh.

Speaking of jobs: Lead Business Intelligence Developer, Electronic Health Record Project Manager, Epic Project Managers.


A reader sent over a link to a treasure trove of online SMS memorabilia. Yes, industry sprouts, there was HIT before Epic and Cerner.

UAB says it has saved 93,000 nursing hours by using Cerner’s CareAware medical device bus to connect devices to the EMR. Retroactive vital signs charting time was reduced by 97% and patient-to-device association logging time was cut by 89%.

A Toronto doctor and professor creates a physician shift calendar application, allowing docs to trade off coverage with “the eBay of physician scheduling.” DocRoster is used by 2,000 physicians and Rosterware just got new capital sources and a board of advisors.

Driscoll Children’s (TX) chooses the CAREt System bedside medication administration system from PatientSafe Solutions. Never heard of it, but I think it’s some kind of successor to IntelliDOT. The CEO was chairman and CEO of Bridge Medical and founded Caremark before hooking up with this company in April. 

Massachusetts HIT companies are hiring in anticipation of ARRA: InterSystems (200 employees), Sentillion (25-30), and Picis (80 this year).

The head of GE Healthcare’s imaging division says the US market has bottomed out and he expects 2010 to be flat at worst.

Siemens, on the other hand, just reported a Q4 loss and says 2010 will be “challenging”. But, that’s for the whole German conglomerate, not just healthcare.

In Australia, iSoft acquires Patient Safety International, which sells an adverse event management system for hospitals.

Strange: Health Sciences, which publishes a health and wellness magazine, retires 2 billion shares of stock (current price: $0.0010, or a tenth of a penny). It’s latest health endeavor: growing marijuana for California’s phony medical use dispensaries, choosing as its research partner Greenway University, “formed to provide the highest quality training and education for the  medical marijuana/ cannabis industry.”

The good news for the hospital in which a patient’s watch was stolen while he sat unattended in the empty ED waiting room: video suggests that he had been dead 39 minutes before he was robbed. The bad news: ED staff didn’t notice he was dead until 50 minutes after that. It was the hospital’s second ED waiting room death, the first being a 33-year-old woman who died without being seen two years ago.

E-mail me.

HERtalk by Inga


From George Emerson” “Re: Meditech building. Here’s a picture of the view from the inside (taken during construction). Not bad, huh?” I’ll say. The view has got to be one heck of recruiting tool.

From Jimmy Chew: “Re: female healthcare bloggers. You should have been on this list!” Thank you Jimmy (and of course my mom) for suggesting I should have made the “Five Fierce Female Healthcare Bloggers to Watch” list. I was disappointed that Barbara Duck of The Medical Quack wasn’t named because I like her stuff. In any case, as long as I remain Mr. H’s favorite blogger, then life is good.

Butler Health System (PA) picks the PatientKeeper Platform and Physician Portal to improve physician documentation and workflow.

Washington Radiology Associates (VA) selects AMICAS PACS. The 26-physician group already uses several AMICAS products, including RIS and Financials.

TelaDoc Medical Services, a provider of telehealth medical consults, secures $9 million in funding to expand its operations.


The folks at Intellect Resources sent us this link to their new IRBeat podcast, a 40-minute overview of the HITECH act. For someone needing to learn the basics — particularly if you are involved in the ambulatory world — the content is very good: logically discussed, knowledgeable speakers, and good questions (“Eileen” is the moderator and she has an Irish accent, which of course makes the whole thing sound classier).

CIOs are concerned about their ability to implement the standards recommended by the HIT Standards Committee in time to meet currently established deadlines. That’s the conclusion from CHIME, following a recent survey of its members. Two-thirds of the 176 CIOs participating in the survey said they were at least somewhat worried about their ability to implement standards-based applications. Respondents fear that IT application vendors won’t be ready to offer products in time and are worried by the need to implement upgraded or new systems. Other concerns include lack of funds and insufficient staff.

Hospira acquires hospital surveillance software developer TheraDoc for an undisclosed sum. In 2006, UPMC was TheraDoc’s biggest institutional investor, but UPMC’s ownership stake at the sale of the deal was not known.


GetWellNetwork announces a number of new hospitals clients and contract expansions, including with Loma Linda University Heart and Surgical Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.

Scott & White Healthcare (TX) engages Beacon Partners to assist in its $12 million, 15-month GE Centricity revenue cycle implementation.

The 250-bed Liberty Hospital (MO) successfully implements Eclipsys Sunrise Enterprise, including CPOE activation.

Alan Dowling, PhD, is named CEO for AHIMA, taking over for the retiring Linda Kloss. Dowling is an adjunct professor of information systems at Case Western Reserve University and earned a PhD in healthcare management and management information systems from MIT.

QuadraMed hires Michael J. Simpson as its senior VP for product strategy and development. Simpson comes from McKesson, where he served as senior VP and CTO for McKesson Provider Technologies. Last year a reader tipped us off after Simpson was removed as GM over Horizon Clinicals and moved to the UK to serve as CTO of the International Operations Group. Simpson is the second executive to come over from McKesson in the last month; QuadraMed recently announced the hiring of Michael Jarrett as VP of client services.

Hayes Management Consulting announces that more than 50,000 providers are now using its MDaudit Professional compliance audit software.


EDIMS names A. J. Sultan director of technology.


Send holiday jingles.

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Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. RE: Barts_”The spokeswoman said that my FOI request is being given proper attention and I will receive a response shortly.”

    Yeah, after they make up the real truth.

    Did anyone hear of an epic disaster in the midwest?

    What a surprise, there are gag clauses after all: “our contract with Cerner includes a confidentiality clause and as such disclosure of the information could give rise to an actionable breach of confidence.”

    Gee, do you think they will tell that to Senator Grassley when they answer his questions. After all is said and done, is this not the company that says that it welcomes the opportunity to share in transparency? How many deaths have been siloed and how many near misses are now considered the standard of care with these systems?

    Reports leaking through the sound proofed fire walls erected by the Pittsburgh army of quash bucklers at Newcastle suggest problems, but who will violate the contract???? Not I they all said.

  2. I would never have brought up the topic of Medical Marijuana in this forum, but since you opened the door on your blog today I thought I would.

    Yes, California’s legislation is flawed (understatement?), but this should not reflect negatively on the efforts throughout the rest of the country.

    Throughout my career I have been focused on HIT, but within the last year I attached myself to this cause because of a friend who suffers from MS, and only finds relief through the use of medical marijuana.

    Right now NJ and PA are hot on this topic, and NJ is likely to pass legislation before the completion of Governor Corzine’s term.

    PA just completed hearings before the Health and Human Services department. This was supposed to be a scientific review of the data related to the effectiveness of medical marijuana as a therapy, but turned into rehashing (no pun intended) of reefer madness on the part of the detractors.

    I am not asking your readers in PA to support my side, but what I am asking is that if you feel passionate about this subject then contact your representative and tell him how you feel. If you are a MD or other person with their finger on the pulse of emerging scientific information regarding medical marijuana then contact the proper groups and be represented in the next set of hearings in PA.

    The bill is PA HB1393 and called the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. Think of it as Healthcare Reform, but one that doesn’t involve complex technologies and formalized data exchange formats. This healthcare reform only requires that we allow Physicians and Patients to guide their medical path without intrusion of politics.

    Thank you!

  3. “HHS will issue $235 million worth of HIT grants in early 2010 through the Beacon Community Program, which David Blumenthal calls a ‘proving ground for meaningful use of EHRs and health information exchange.'”

    Considering that Mr. Blumenthal is now a paid spokesman for HIMSS, which we suspected all along anyway, and that this amounts to the executive branch of government becoming a paid employee of a lobbyist organization, how many more from the executive branch of government are going to dip their hands into the pockets of HIMSS’ slush funds? How much more of the public trust is for sale that we should know about before we allow these people to sell us down the river, like they have already done?

    The merchants of HIT are not a sovereign entity. It is the writer’s opinion that they behave as if they are one, an aristocratic class above the law. And the current exhibition of executives from our Federal agencies providing lip service for this group speaks volumes to the current state, and this by itself has not gone unnoticed. It is my belief that the White House is well aware of this, as well as many other Federal agencies. The anger is growing across party lines.

    We should state that we know Blumenthal is a PAID keynote speaker at HIMSS10 conference. We also know that Garth Graham, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health @ HHS has been “invited” as a paid speaker.

    Blumenthal is fully aware of the HIMSS/CCHIT/EHRVA connection and scandal, yet he has chosen to be a paid lobbyist for HIMSS. Blumenthal is a doctor. Does it anger Dr. Blumenthal that patients are dying because of faulty medical devices, devices that should be inspected by the FDA? This is morally WRONG!!

    In the meantime, Blumenthal is on automatic pilot with Tommy Thompson’s 10-year plan, shoveling out the money as fast as it comes off the presses, despite the major issues regarding medical devices that affect Patient Safety.

    I wonder what Senator Grassley thinks about this? I also wonder if Blumenthal has given HIMSS a heads up on all the grants available for 2010, as HIMSS appeared to have an edge in 2005 when they were able to apply, and quickly receive, a $7.5 million grant for CCHIT.

    Who else is for sale in government? Is it possible to pay Blumenthal NOT to attend HIMSS10? We believe he is already well-compensated for providing the necessary checks and balances to safeguard and protect the American people, and we expect nothing less.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] Just to clarify, we don’t know (or at least I don’t) that he’s being paid to speak at HIMSS. I assume he’s not, in fact, since government people often aren’t for exactly the reasons you listed. That might be a question to pose to HIMSS.

  4. Mr. HIStalk, I agree with you. HIMSS should disclose how they pay their key note speakers. I believe Blumenthal receives an Honorarium for travel and a per diem. If this is on the taxpayers dime, then I object to that too. We should not be paying for the lobbyist circus. If Blumenthal is paying out of his pocket, that’s a different story, but one that is still questionable.

    H. Stephen Lieber, David W. Roberts, or HIMSS PR department should respond to this. Who is funding this? What is standard fare for keynote speakers? How does the Executive Branch reconcile the conflict of interest?

    All speakers should disclose how they are funded because HIMSS is in a position to purchase influence. I just noticed David Kibbe MD is on that list too.

  5. “HIStalk readership always slows down in November and December since people are off for the holidays, but this past month was good: 70,680 visits and 93,300 page views, up 28.5% compared to last November.”

    Which stats package did you use for these stats? Always fun to compare how your site compares to mine. Since I can’t compare my content to yours I’ll have to stick to the stats.

    Also, I’ve been meaning to reach out to you about possibly doing something together at HIMSS 10. I know you’re working on your meetup. Maybe if you throw the weight of my website with yours it will help get the sponsor to pony up the money? Feel free to drop me an email if you want to chat more.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] I use Sitemeter, although I do sometimes check Quantcast since I have it installed.

  6. “”[From Mr. HIStalk] Just to clarify, we don’t know (or at least I don’t) that he’s being paid to speak at HIMSS. I assume he’s not, in fact, since government people often aren’t for exactly the reasons you listed. That might be a question to pose to HIMSS.””

    Mr. H, please ask Doctor Blumenthal to post the correspondence between him, his office, and HIMSS that detail the arrangements. Is he getting together with Harry for dinner and is it Dutch treat? The NJ AG is banning pharma from buying lunch for office nurses.

    Just for good measure, ask Doctor Kibbe to disclose his “deal”. He lauded praise on the departing Leavitt, a remarkable turnaround for Kibbe. I guess it pays him to “go green” and break bread with Lieber’s dough.

  7. Not to mention “Meet to Eat” functions are illegal, according to the IRS! I wonder how that shows up on HIMSS’ books, especially during Annual Conference, when this is done ALL the time.

    “An organization of business and professional persons in a community, providing luncheon and BAR facilities for its members during business hours on working days of the year, but having no specific program directed to the improvement of business conditions, does not qualify under IRC 501(c)(6). Rev. Rul. 70-244, 1970-1 C.B. 132.”

  8. ~~~~HHS will issue $235 million worth of HIT grants in early 2010 through the Beacon Community Program, which David Blumenthal calls a “proving ground for meaningful use of EHRs and health information exchange.”~~~~

    Does this mean that Blumenthal authorizes experimenting on patients without their consent? Just slip a little unproven CPOE and CDS into their care and hope that it will not result in delays, duplicate medications, incorrect tests, and dysfunctional communication! What is the difference between using an unapproved medication and unapproved CPOE equipment? No great problem, just a few deaths here and there.

  9. You all seem to operate under a number of screen names, but jeesh, can we get over the “CPOE equipment” / “CPOE device” masquerade?

    Mr HISTalk – they’re just using your blog to send a daily message on CPOE as a device no matter what topic you post.

    Even if FDA does get involved with CPOE, it’s going to run up on the rocks quickly when you get down to brass tacks. They’ll only be able to regulate the makers processes.

    Because every hospital “customizes” their own order sets and workflows to some extent, the FDA won’t really be able to regulate an implementation of CPOE.

    CAN WE MOVE ON? Calling it a device over and over doesn’t make it a device.

    [From Mr. HIStalk] I’m torn. I’m tired of reading those same monotone comments myself, but I hate to censor, even if it is the same person masquerading as multiple ones. Obviously readers, even the ones who might be somewhat receptive to that message, don’t need to be hit over the head with it every day.

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